Dubai, one of the most glamorous cities in the Middle East, is also the most populous one in the United Arab Emirates, owing to a large number of expats who have made the city their home. Dubai attracts luxury lifestyle, great shopping, ultra-modern architecture, amongst others. Singapore, on the other hand, is a central hub when it comes to foreign businesses and is known to be one of the most attractive places around the world for expats. The city is home to foreign talents, especially in the field of marketing, finance, information technology, shipping, engineering and advertising. Luxhabitat presents to you a comparative study of these two glam cities and the appeals it carries for expats.
1. Singapore Vs Dubai Comparison – Cost of Living
If the cost of living of Dubai and Singapore are to be compared, it can be stated that both cities are pretty close in terms of numbers. If one stays at a rented space in Singapore, he will require around 8,073 S$ (AED 22,563). To maintain the same standard of life in Dubai, he will have to spend around 6,799 S$ (AED 19,000). Overall, consumer prices in Singapore are 26.65% higher than that of Dubai and groceries in Singapore cost 36.91% higher than that of Dubai, according to Numbeo. However, foodies in Singapore can rejoice as the prices are 4.95% lower than that of Dubai.
2. Singapore Vs Dubai Comparison – Tax
Dubai does not impose an income tax on its residents, which is one of the prime reasons for a large number of expats flock to the city in search of jobs. Value Added Tax (VAT), has however been imposed at a standard 5% from January 1, 2018.
The amount of tax that expats in Singapore are supposed to pay depends on their tax residency status. For a non-resident that has stayed in the country between 61 to 182 days, their employment income is taxed at 15%. If a non-resident is employed for 60 days or less than that, he is exempted from income tax. Non-residents of Singapore are taxed at the rate of 15%. Apart from salaries and bonuses, employment benefits including housing and stock options are also a part of taxable income. However, it’s worth noting that Singapore has some of the lowest tax rates in the world.
3. Singapore Vs Dubai Comparison – Prices of Properties
If property prices between Dubai and Singapore are compared, it can be deduced that Singapore surpasses Dubai by a significant difference. Mortgages as a percentage of income in Dubai is 43.14%, whereas in Singapore it is 136.90%. While Dubai’s property prices cannot be viewed as cheap, it is nowhere as eye-watering as Singapore’s.
Purchasing an apartment in Dubai has its perks. The gross rental yields in Dubai are much higher than that of Singapore. When it comes to properties located in the centre of the city, Dubai offers a yield of 10.48%, whilst Singapore in comparison offers only 2.63%. For the properties outside the centre of the city, the yield that Dubai offers is 11.45%; Singapore offers 3.14%. Investors in Dubai property can see much higher gains in capital investments than Singapore in this regard.
4. Singapore Vs Dubai Comparison – Citizenship
Offering a strict no-citizenship policy, Dubai does not offer citizenship to any expats living in or outside the country.
However, in Singapore, a person becomes a Permanent Resident after two years. After they get the permanent residency status and are either employed in Singapore or married to a Singaporean citizen, they are eligible to register for citizenship. It must be noted male permanent resident can also choose to apply for citizenship upon satisfactory completion of full-time national service in Singapore.